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An Englishman In New York: The Changing Face Of America

David Thomasesson highlights the news that America is turning Hispanic.

Walking the streets of Manhattan, it’s interesting to note the division of labor among different peoples in the melting pot that is New York. For example, the Koreans have the delis conveniently cornered, and have polished off the Mani/Pedi stores. Cell phone stores are the calling of the Indians/Pakistanis. And the African/Americans have the package shipment majors all parceled out. Then banking halls are tilled by the African/Americans and Hispanics, leaving the other jobs for the rest of us.

Talking of Hispanics, it was reported this week by CNN that America is becoming Hispanic faster than you can say "que pasa gringo"! According to an analysis of newly released 2010 U.S. Census data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census by the Pew Hispanic Center, http://pewresearch.org/ the Hispanic populations in the United States will top 17% when the numbers are finalized. The Center points out that this change is most noticeable in states not typically thought of as being Hispanic. We’re not talking Texas, California, Florida or New York here. No, the change is in states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Kansas and Maryland.

CNN further suggest that Hispanics will define the worlds of media, politics, commerce, fashion, music, entertainment, sports and science. I think much of this has already taken place. Today salsa is more popular than ketchup, rural highways sprout Spanish-language billboards and some members of Congress gather weekly for Spanish lessons. Spanish is here to stay, but I do wish that automatic telephone answering systems would say “For Spanish press 1, otherwise stay on the line” rather than “For English press 1, for Spanish press 2”. I shouldn’t have to make a choice to speak to someone in English! Capice?

We should embrace the change; leave the safety of the stockade, after all this is a country founded on immigrants. And the Native Indians who, lest we forget, were here first. It’s not well known but the first words spoken by the Natives on sight of the Pilgrims landing ashore were actually “Well, there goes the neighborhood”!

So, Hola, como estas? Muchas gracias amigos and Felice Navidad to you too. Time to look up our local bodega, even Taco Bell for lunch, but hold the Mariachi music; a little goes a long way.

Who knows, in 20 years time, perhaps it we’ll begging to clean their toilets and keep their gardens tidy!



Do visit David's Web site http://www.britoninnewyork.com/


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